Police deny involvement with taxi mafia in viral video scuffle

Picture courtesy of Chatchanan Karn Chantajinda Facebook

Confusion swirled around an incident captured on a viral video with speculation of whether certain Bangkok taxis were registered or not, and whether Thong Lor Police were involved with an illegal taxi mafia.

Phansa Amraphitak, Police Chief of Thong Lor Police, today stated that the group of seven accused taxi drivers appeared for interrogation based on the summon notice. They testified that they were not unregistered taxi drivers but rather were using a ride-hailing application to receive passengers when the incident took place.

A group of three drunk individuals attempted to flag down a taxi but were refused service because the taxi was already booked through the app. This led to a confrontation with the disgruntled drunks banging on the car doors and shouting abuses, accusing them of operational illegitimacy.

The altercation, documented in a widely shared video, eventually escalated into a physical conflict. In the initial confusion, accusations were made that the taxi drivers were involved in an illegal taxi mafia in Thong Lor with the police involved. Both the drivers and the police vehemently denied those accusations.

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Despite the speculation of police involvement and backing for the taxi gang, the Thong Lor chief ensured the accusations were baseless. Phone inquiries with the victims found no claims of misconduct by any police official at the scene. The accused driver is said to have shouted something about police involvement, but later claimed it was not to suggest any undue influence over law enforcement officials, but merely an exasperated comment amid the disagreement, reported KhaoSod.

Further investigation into the matter revealed that two officers had responded swiftly to the incident, arriving within three minutes of receiving notification. One officer safeguarded the taxi with the passengers onboard, blocking any attempts of bodily harm by the aggressors. The other commenced peaceful negotiation with the instigating taxi driver.

The police reiterated their integrity and assured no official from the Thong Lor station was affiliated or sympathetic to any public transport group or illegal taxi mafia operations. Any violations relating to misuse of vehicles would be dutifully fined and actioned by the police. However, they noted that vehicle registration issues fall under the authority of the Department of Land Transport.

As for the drunken would-be passengers, they vowed to pursue legal action but have yet to formally file charges. This is due to a legal requirement for a physician’s certificate in physical abuse cases, which they are waiting for.

Occasionally, the police have refrained from issuing a summon to the aggressors, to allow the victims a suitable time to submit formal complaints at their convenience. After this process, the offenders will be notified of their charges and legal action will commence according to court procedure.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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